Sights of sadness many a one
A man may meet beneath the sun;
But a sadder sight did never man see
Than lies in the Hall of Fontanlee.
There are three corses manly and fair,
Each in its armour, and each on its bier;
There are three squires weeping and wan,
Every one with his head on his hand,
Every one with his hand on his knee,
At the foot of his master silently
Sitting, and weeping bitterly
For the broken honour of Fontanlee.
Who is this at their sides that stands?
“Lift, O squires, your heads from your hands;
Tell me who these dead men be
That lie in the Hall of the Fontanlee.”
“This is Sir Robert of Fontanlee,
A young knight and a fair to see;
This is Sir Stephen of Fontanlee,
Sir Robert’s second brother was he;
This is Sir John of Fontanlee,
He was the youngest of the three.
“For their father’s truth did they
Freely give their lives away,
And till he doth home return,
Sadly here we sit and mourn.”
These sad words they having said,
Every one down sank his head;
Till in accents strangely spoken,
At their sides was silence broken.
“I do bring you news from far,
False was the Fontanlee in war!
—Unbend your bright swords from my breast,
I that do speak do know it best.”
Wide he flung his mantle free;
Lo, it was the Fontanlee!
Then the squires like stricken men
Sank into their seats again,
And their cheeks in wet tears steeping
Fresh and faster fell a weeping.
He with footsteps soft and slow
Round to his sons’ heads did go;
Sadly he looked on every one,
And stooped and kissed the youngest, John.
Then his weary head down bending,
“Heart,” said he, “too much offending,
Break, and let me only be
Blotted out of memory.”
Thrice with crimson cheek he stood,
And thrice he swallowed the salt blood;
Then outpoured the torrent red;
And the false Fontanlee lay dead.
THE LEGEND OF SAINT LAURA.
BY THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK.
Saint Laura, in her sleep
Preserves beneath the tomb
—’Tis willed where what is willed must be—
Her beauty and her bloom.
So pure her maiden life had
So free from earthly stain,
’Twas fixed in fate by Heaven’s own Queen
That till the earth’s last closing scene
She should unchanged remain.
Within a deep sarcophagus
Of alabaster sheen,
With sculptured lid of roses white,
She slumbered in unbroken night,
By mortal eyes unseen.